How to decide whether to work with an ecommerce agency vs a freelancer
May 30, 2022
How to decide whether to work with an ecommerce agency vs a freelancer
As a business owner, you know that there are certain tasks that you need to delegate in order to grow your business. But when it comes to ecommerce, how do you decide whether to work with an ecommerce agency or a freelancer? In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of both options and help you make the best decision for your business!
When it comes to ecommerce, there are certain skills that you will need in order to be successful. These skills include web design, web development, ecommerce strategy, marketing, content generation and data analysis. If you feel like you lack the skills or knowledge in any of these areas, then working with an ecommerce agency may be the best option for you.
What's the difference between an ecommerce agency vs a freelancer?
An ecommerce agency is a team of experts usually composed of either full-time employees and/or independent contractors that carry out various activities for clients. Projects could include; website builds, website designs, social media marketing, email marketing, content writing and business consulting, and much more.
A freelancer is a self-employed ecommerce consultant that most likely has prior experience working for a large corporation, but will now provide their services independently. They are solely accountable for obtaining clients, completing client projects, and obtaining repeat freelance business. It's important to note that freelancers can be specialised (e.g. freelance designer) or an all-rounder with more skill sets.
Pros & cons of freelancer vs. ecommerce agency
Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, but a choice must be made. Here are some pros and cons to think about.
Skills -- Ecommerce agency
With an ecommerce agency, you’ll get an experienced team that will likely have a huge range of skills. You won’t need to repeat your vision and they’ll all be on the same page when it comes to what works best for your business. All you will need to do is present your desired outcomes and they will plan and execute to (hopefully) exceed the goals set.
They can be expensive. If you are on a tight budget, then working with a freelancer may be a better option for you. Also, you won’t get to pick who you work with. Once engaged, then you'll be allocated certain team members depending on budget and who's available.
Skills -- Freelancer
Freelancers are typically well-rounded individuals. Most freelancers have previously worked in a few businesses before deciding to become freelance workers. This gives them a broader viewpoint on ecommerce and the business world in general. You may discover someone who excels at delivering exactly what you require, whether it's website development, SEO, or social media marketing. You may also select someone with the needed expertise level for your niche.
It'll be tough to locate a freelancer with a wide variety of specialties, so you may have to search for more than one. Explaining your mission and working with multiple freelancers might be time-consuming.
Service -- Ecommerce agency
Ecommerce agencies will have systems in place for adequate communication and service. They'll also conduct routine meetings to keep track on progress of your goals and projects.
An ecommerce agency will naturally care about its reputation, but individual team members within the agency won’t be held accountable in the same way, so it’s not their first priority to provide exceptional service.
Service -- Freelancer
Because freelancers operate on their own and the quality of their work is crucial to their livelihood, they will certainly give outstanding service and ensure that your needs are met. It's in the best interests of a freelancer to pressure for outcomes. After all, they want you to tell your friends and acquaintances about them. They are used to explaining technical jargon to small businesses who may not have the same background as larger enterprises, which is why they are excellent communicators.
Freelancers may go on extended vacations without notice. They can also vanish without a trace, and they are not always adamant about entering into contracts, which might lead to legal difficulties if they do not finish the work.
Priority Level -- Ecommerce agency
An ecommerce company will have more resources available to help you finish your project on time.
Smaller clients won't be as valuable to a digital agency. The smaller projects will flood an organisation, and they'll be expected to deliver results from large clients with big money. The value of the smaller customers may not be realised, thus smaller projects might not receive the attention they deserve.
Priority Level -- Freelancer
Freelancers have fewer projects than a large agency and can give your work top priority. Freelancers may sometimes work on one project at a time if the task is big enough. This is akin to having an in-house ecommerce expert.
May take longer to complete a task due to a lack of resources.
Flexibility-- Ecommerce agency
You know where you are in terms of time with an ecommerce agency, and you can build your business around it. For a smaller project or a one-time job, they may be able to offer more flexible payment options.
When it comes to an ecommerce agency, staff members will only be accessible during regular business hours, and you could be competing with other projects. A digital agency may not provide the flexibility you require if your company operates outside of traditional hours. Team meetings or lunches with potential clients may prevent your team members from the agency from being available.
The primary advantage of hiring a freelancer is that they are adaptable and do not adhere to the 9-to-5 timetable. They also enjoy an unstructured workday, which is why they became freelancers in the first place! This will come in handy if you encounter a crisis at 3 a.m. or on Sunday night.
They may charge you extra for working evenings or weekends.
Communication -- Ecommerce agency
Most digital agencies have a standard set of procedures for interacting with clients. They usually assign a project manager to each client, who then schedules weekly or monthly calls. For bigger tasks, they may even add additional personnel to the mix.
It is necessary to plan ahead for additional contacts and reports, which may sometimes incur additional expenses. Agencies might also have a hands-off approach where you don't request regular contact if you don't ask for it.
Communication -- Freelancer
You must establish your expectations ahead of time, as well as discuss the length of the project and each goal posts along the way. Freelancers may be more flexible in this respect and talk to you more informally by means of messaging or social media.
It's tough to contact a freelancer since their timezone is frequently different from yours.
Price -- Ecommerce agency
You'll be receiving high-quality work from them, and you'll be able to negotiate a reasonable payment plan.
Digital agencies have significant overhead expenses. They generally operate out of leased spaces and employ designers, creatives, and other specialists, all of whom come with hefty price tags. It will cost you more to hire a freelance writer through an agency than it would to hire them directly.
Price -- Freelancer
Rather than asking for a full-time, in-house salary, a freelancer may offer per-project per hour pricing. Freelancers are more productive than office workers since they operate on their own time. They also avoid the problems associated with coworkers and pointless office politics.
It's possible that the payment schedule will be more stringent than when working with an agency.
Here are some helpful things to consider before deciding:
Experience in my industry
Check to see if the freelancer or digital agency has experience working in your field or niche. Check their past clients and how well they know the industry. If they're unfamiliar with the sector, it's likely that they'll have a hard time developing a plan.
Is your freelancer or digital agency able to provide you with performance data? Not everyone can do it, but some agencies may offer you past results from other clients.
It's critical that you go through actual client reviews to get a better idea of how the digital agency or freelancer performed. Were they always polite? Did they respond to your emails promptly? Did they react positively in a crisis?
More where that came from
This is just the tip of the iceberg— there’s plenty more to think about when deciding. Get in touch to talk about your needs.